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Masterchef Australia – The Risotto Challenge

Well if there was any resentment from the top seven contestants to the three who re-entered the Masterchef Australia competition well it must now be magnified even more with Courtney and Peter performing well in tonight’s beat the chef challenge.

Tonight the 10 contestants were up against Young Chef  Mitchell Orr cooking Saffron and Bone Marrow risotto, with prawn reduction, and liquorice dust. They had an hour and 20 mins, which was a 10 minute head start on the celebrity chef.

Mitchell was working at Sepia but he is now working with Adriano Zumbo on a savoury menu.

It was to be a blind tasting, with an opportunity for one of the contestants to get an immunity pin.

Jonathan  went down a couple of pegs in my estimation when he confessed to never making risotto. Anyone with half a brain once they hit the top 50 would have at least practiced the dish. His was a disaster as he tipped two much saffron into it, and once he plated up it looked like spew albeit without carrots.

Claire was having an up  day as she said I am cooking risotto and I am having an awesome day. But then plateaued out with this is a “trainwreck” comment. Also weepiness occurred later as she was waiting for her dish to be judged.

I think the resentment from the contestants has occurred because they are exhausted, whereas Jimmy, Peter, and Courtney have a real energy about them.

Donna Hay, Matt Preston and George Calombaris are judging. I thought Donna showed much more confidence and personality tonight he is she getting over her nerves?

This is what they had to say:

  • Marion’s had crunchy rice , but Donna said it had good flavour. Matt thought it was 2 minutes off being a good risotto.
  • Callum’s not as good as plate one
  • Aaron – “Not one of my favourites” said Donna
  • Alvin – Not bad said Donna.
  • Courtney – “This is aldente” said George and Matt said it  “has set the bench mark”.
  • Claire  – “a really good attempt at that dish” said Donna
  • Adam – “Risotto has good flavour, but that prawn is impeccable” said George.
  • Jonathan – ” It would be impossibel for it to taste worse then it looks,” said Matt. But by the looks on the judges faces it did.
  • Jimmy – silence
  • Mitchell Orr – “Taste fresh parmasen and butter, absolutely delicious,” gushed George.
  • Peter – by the presentation they thought it was Mitchell’s, however I think that was just to create suspense.

Courtney, Peter and Mitchell were the top three, with Mitchell winning, so there was no immunity pin for anyone.


1 Cravatwatch { 06.29.10 at 10:37 pm }

Huh, this must be exactly what one of those muckraking articles a while back was referring to – they were describing Matt Preston as some sort of hideous pig for having ten serves of bone marrow risotto, when it turns out it was only a tiny nibble per plate for judging!

2 Injera { 06.29.10 at 10:39 pm }

Oh, I thought Claire was being extremely sarcastic when she said she was having an awesome day! Actually, I was a bit worried about her tonight – perhaps she’s not well, because she really looked down and came across as having no energy.

If it wasn’t for the comeback kids, tonight would have been a washout.

3 seepi { 06.29.10 at 10:40 pm }

Perhaps he finished up all the leftovers?

I think Claire was being sarcastic when she said her day was awesome so far. she is really not in a good way.

4 CG { 06.29.10 at 10:41 pm }

At first I thought tonight’s show was a total waste of time. But after Top-3 were announced I thought it was perfect that 2 of the “callbacks” were in the Top-3 to justify their right to be back in the competition and bring the “top 7” down a notch after some of their rude behaviour last night. At the same time, Jimmy proved once again he struggles with anything other than Indian dishes. I think Courtney could go to the final 3-4.

I read some think the CWA epi tomorrow could be boring but as a relatively new Aussie I love the CWA gals and think it will be fun to see how badly the BACs they can mess up scones and lamingtons and see the judging!

Seeps: I too thought Claire’s “awesome” exclamation may have been sarcastic.

5 Injera { 06.29.10 at 10:43 pm }

Huh, Cravatwatch, I remember reading that! Total beat-up, obviously.

6 Reality Raver { 06.29.10 at 10:47 pm }

Beat up or not Matt has put on weight since last season.

I know she was probably being ironic but she was more animated then I had seen her in weeks!

I should add I thought Jono was having a laugh at himself once he realised his risotto was disaster.

7 Jane { 06.29.10 at 11:09 pm }

Funny how they didn’t show the comments on Jimmy’s dish. Anyway, it’s great to see Peter did so well, as well as Courtney – I wanted those two to come back, and do well, and they did! Poor Claire had a rough trot though with this dish.

8 sourkraut { 06.29.10 at 11:38 pm }

Missed the ep. Not a pity.

9 KC { 06.29.10 at 11:57 pm }

I’m not sure that the behavior of the contestants last night can be considered rude. I think its justified that the contestants feel cheated and feel its unfair. You can say they might feel threatened by the people who have come back but the returned contestants are the ones that got out (fair or unfair situations discounted) and they’ve got to go back to their families and rejuvenate themselves.

The Top 7 that were in the house have gone through so much, even seeing the finish line but now have to put in extra work to keep themselves through because people that have been eliminated have been allowed the opportunity to come back in. It wasn’t nice of them to be so negative about it but I don’t think its right for us to call them rude or call them out on their behavior because most of us if we were in their situation would act the same way.

But all in all, it is a competition and if they don’t suck it up and get on with it, they’ll just get caught up in this and then end up getting eliminated themselves which is probably the dumbest thing you could do.

Why is Clare always so sad-looking? And is Risotto really hard to make?

10 pollywaffle { 06.29.10 at 11:59 pm }

Claire’s Desperate Housewife’s Improv is going well. The Bree Vandecamp vein in the neck, the frosty remarks, and there’s cake and scones to fret over tomorrow night, how perfect.

What could be the surprise awaiting them at home? A 10 person snuggie to get the temperature up?

11 Fides { 06.30.10 at 1:01 am }

I know I’ve criticised Claire’s downcast ways before, but tonight she really was showing signs of mental distress. Even when the challenge was introduced, ie chance to win immunity, she looked defeated and like she was going to be sick. I don’t think it’s an act, she really looks like she’s decompensating… way back in TOp 50 week, I remember Claire saying how she did well with recipes as she was a lawyer (doing the Beef Wellington) – tonight she was totally disorganised – last to get the risotto started I think. If she has to face a pressure test, I’m fairly certain she’d completely fall to pieces and it would be very unpleasant to watch.

I do hope there are counsellors available to them. Watching someone having a breakdown is not what MC is meant to be about.

12 librarygirl { 06.30.10 at 9:14 am }

Fides, Gary was on the 7 p.m.project one night last week? and talked a bit about how they DID have counsellors on hand at all times – because many of them are trying to break out of safe jobs, make a huge life change, away from families for months etc and were very, very stressed at times. It was as aspect of the show I hadn’t much thought about.

13 NT Kate { 06.30.10 at 10:27 am }

Yet again we’re surprised by the lack of all-round experience of these aspiring cooks. Never cooked a risotto!!?! They really should have been doing some classic dishes (without a recipe!) as tests to sort them out earlier on.

All the same, Jonathan seems to be consistently sabotaging himself these days – either very tired (still jetlagged?), or really missing the real world/spouse. I predict he’ll be out soon.

They all clearly need a good break.

14 smauge { 06.30.10 at 10:42 am }

Glad you added that caveat of Jono having a laugh at himself. I thought he came away looking like he knew how to take the piss out of himself. Especially when they counted the lined up contestants to work out who served up the vomit. He cracked up when he realised he’d been sprung!

15 Fides { 06.30.10 at 11:33 am }

librarygirl – thanks for that information re the counsellors. I feel strangely relieved!

smauge – agree it’s great to see Jono having a laugh. He’s got rather a lovely laugh too – cute and dorky – which makes me think we’ve heard it often in the show, unlike some of others. That can only be a good thing. I’d like to see him get a pin.

16 Reality Raver { 06.30.10 at 12:11 pm }

Jane – maybe there wasn’t much to say about his dish. How much is there to say about risotto.

Sour – actually because the episode only went for 30 mins it was pretty zippy.

KC – they must have known contestants would be re-introduced it was just a matter of when. And I don’t think risotto is that hard to make, however I am not making all those other elements.

Pollywaffle – Oh so Bree. Well if they don’t want the snuggie they can send it to my place.

Fides – I agree she looks like she needs a break. I think she looks like a bit of a perfectionist so when she thinks it is under par she gets anxious. However her risotto was well received.

LibraryGirl – Gary is everywhere at the moment, 7pm project, The Circle, what next Good News Week.

NT Kate – I hope you are wrong I want Jono to go top four. I am hoping top four will be Marion, Jono, Peter and Adam or Claire.

Smauge – I reckon he knew it was no use getting to stressed about it as there was no way he was going to win.

Fides – they would definitely need counsellors as they would be under stress particularly having limited contact from the outside world.

17 Culinary Boner { 06.30.10 at 1:40 pm }

This year’s bunch do seem to be in the emotional doldrums compared to last year’s lot.

They spent the first half of the season a’weeping and a’blubbering.

And, now they they look like they’ve become clinically depressed and in serious need of prozac or at least some form of endorphin hit, especially Claire and Aaron.

Suggest they consider the two alternate strategems used by contenders in the previous season.

They could opt for blind, happy, mindless, tail-wagging optimism as epitomised by Julie G and, to a lesser extent, Justine.

Or they could go with the time-honoured way of obtaining a stress-relieving, endorphin hit employed to such good effect by Chris B.

Yes, I’m talking about engaging in some sneaky Machiavellian mindplays on fellow contestants… Oh. And also some serious nose-to-tail bed-work.

18 sourkraut { 06.30.10 at 2:02 pm }

There’s only been one ep of this second series so far where stress relieving endorphins featured, and none of these wusses used it. Chris B at least had enough class to drink it during the “cooking” process.
WHAT AN UTTERLY BORING LOT THEY NOW ARE All utterly bland personalities and bland cooking (apart from Jimmy and Adam) Hope COURTNEY wins, that’ll give the johno lovers the darks!

19 sourkraut { 06.30.10 at 2:06 pm }

Yes smarties, i already know beer is not an endorphin, but to me at least it has a similar effect

20 Wurstsemmel { 06.30.10 at 2:58 pm }

It could possibly be editing but Claire is definitely ringing a few alarm bells. Hopefully, she is making use of assistance provided.

RR, are you going to cover Alan Sugar’s The Apprentice?

21 Culinary Boner { 06.30.10 at 3:39 pm }

Sourkraut, more beer for this lot would probably only fry their fragile psyches. Yep, Chris clearly new how to cope with the pressure. His pilfering the beer in that episode for drinking rather than cooking was the sort of highlight this lot are determined not to give us. It was all class, in its ‘well, why not?’ way. If I recall the beer was James Squire Porter. Concur with you 100% about choice of ‘endorphin’.

22 Suzanne { 06.30.10 at 8:33 pm }

I missed the beginning when they were explaining what the components of the dish were. Was the frozen prawn plaque raw? Was it supposed to be eaten frozen? I can’t say that any part of the dish looked very appealing to me.

23 Fides { 06.30.10 at 9:17 pm }

Yes indeedy that little prawn plaque was raw. Wonder how Georgie enjoyed that! I had to check the recipe on the website as I thought I must have missed the cooking step. The thought of eating raw prawn mush (as it surely wouldn’t have stayed frozen) certainly isn’t making me hungry, nor is bone marrow risotto.

24 Sourkraut { 06.30.10 at 11:50 pm }

mmmmmmmSquires Ale!
Actually an ale or lager or 3 would possibly inject some life into these hypnotised bricks

25 Reality Raver { 07.01.10 at 9:05 am }

Wurst- I will watch it today and do a quick post on UK Apprentice